Lunch With the First Lady

National Geographic Kid Reporter Lauren Edwards reports on the Kids' State Dinner at the White House.

Published July 24, 2014

by Lauren Edwards, National Geographic Kid Reporter

First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the third annual Kids’ State Dinner (a big lunch, really) at the White House last week. Fruits and vegetables arranged in the shapes of flowers covered the tables. For most of the 54 kids invited, it was their first visit to the White House.

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First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the White House Kids’ State Dinner.

Mrs. Obama had asked kids to send in their favorite healthy recipes as part of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. Over 1,500 kids from all over the country sent them in. One recipe from each state (and some territories) was picked and each winner was invited to have lunch with Mrs. Obama.

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Some of the winning recipes from the Healthy Lunctime Challenge were served at the White House Kids’ State Dinner.

Katie Hebdon, 11, from Idaho submitted a winning recipe called "K&T’s Amazing Tortilla Chicken Soup." Jane Battle, 10, whose recipe was called "Veggie Spaghetti with Alabama Gulf Shrimp" was the winner from Alabama. These recipes sound like they would be hard to make, but Katie and Jane can make them without any help from their parents. Both Katie and Jane don't know if their schools will make their recipes for lunch, but they hope that they can make a difference by helping other kids learn about healthy food.

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National Geographic Kid Reporter Lauren Edwards interviews Tanya Steel, Epicurious’ Special Projects Contributor and originator of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

One of the judges of the recipes was Tanya Steel from Epicurious, who started the contest. She said the winning kids’ meals were affordable, healthy, and delicious! She thinks healthy lunches should be provided at all the schools in the U.S.

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National Geographic Kid Reporter Lauren Edwards at the White House for the Kids’ State Dinner.

Photographs by NG staff; Kid Reporter's dress donated by Tea Collection

Did You Know?

  • To promote healthy eating, the First Lady began planting an annual White House Kitchen Garden in 2009.
  • Bees pollinate about 75 percent of crops in the U.S.
  • The White House is home to a hive of about 70,000 bees.
  • More than a third of households in the United States grow food at home or in a community garden.